1 dead, others trapped after Hong Kong scaffolding collapses

HONG KONG (AP) — One worker died and others were trapped Friday when a major rainstorm blew traditional bamboo scaffolding off the side of a building under construction in Hong Kong, officials and reports said.

The southern Chinese city was battered by heavy rain and high winds as other parts of the country also experienced dangerous weather conditions.

Local media reported that construction workers and several other people trapped in two cars were rescued by emergency workers after the scaffold collapsed.

The Hong Kong Observatory reported that Tropical Storm Lionrock was southwest of the regional financial hub, which has a population of 7.5 million. Maximum sustained winds were measured at 61 kilometers (38 miles) per hour.

It said outer rain bands associated with Lionrock would continue to bring widespread heavy rain to the coast of Guangdong province just across the border from Hong Kong in mainland China. It also issued warnings of stormy seas and possible flooding.

The island province of Hainan south of Hong Kong and other parts of the southern coast were also preparing for the storm.

Elsewhere in China, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the China Meteorological Administration issued warnings of possible landslides and flooding in the north and west, including the provinces of Shanxi, Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu.

A flood warning was also issued along the middle and lower segments of the Yellow River, China’s second-longest, which has a long history of bursting its banks but in recent years has seen water levels drop considerably because of overuse.

This year has brought unusually wet weather to much of China’s central and northern regions, with torrential rains and flooding in July causing the deaths of at least 292 people in Zhengzhou, a major city in the central province of Henan, including some trapped in the city’s subway.

Seasonal flooding strikes large parts of China each year, especially in its central and southern regions. China’s worst floods in recent years were in 1998, when more than 2,000 people died and almost 3 million homes were destroyed, mostly along the Yangtze, China’s mightiest river.

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